Video released in two violent robberies on Upper East Side

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD is investigating two violent robberies in Manhattan. Both incidents took place on the Upper East Side.

In the most recent incident, surveillance video shows the suspect trying to grab an 80-year-old woman's purse as she entered into her apartment complex on East 88th Street and 1st Avenue.

It happened on Tuesday, January 9th around 8:20 p.m.

After a struggle, she fell to the floor and screamed for help.

"All of a sudden, we just started hearing screaming and she knows our names so she screamed our names and we just bolted out," said Alex Weiss, resident.

That is when Weiss jumped into action to see how he could help.

"Oh there is no thinking, it all happened in two and half seconds, we just heard screams and ran out," Weiss said.

The suspect then turned around and ran out the door where another man was serving as the lookout.

"I've seen her before, I don't know her personally, but its bad because she is a senior, so to live on the ground floor I feel it is unsafe," said Kathy Guo, a resident.

A note was posted in the E. 88th Street building vestibule warning them about the attempted robbery.

"I think to just live in a doorman building might be the safest bet," Guo said.

Police say a similar purse snatching happened back on December 15th at 12:30 a.m. at Lexington and East 92nd Street, just a few blocks away.

One man tried to grab a 23-year-old woman's purse, and when he was unsuccessful, two other men joined in the attack and stole her purse.

One thing of note is that one of the men in that robbery was seen using a cane.

"Iv'e never really felt unsafe in this neighborhood, but it kind of makes you have your guard up more," said Mara Van Geldern, a resident.

Police are asking anyone with information on this to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.